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cheltonian column


Leigh is a formerRoyalMarine


Commandowhonowoperates this very successfuldogwalking company, locatedoutofCheltenham.However, when it comes todogwalking this is noordinary individual andnoordinary company.


Leigh, tell our readers about your philosophy behindwhat you’ve built inPackDogWalks. PackDogWalks is about exercise, socialisation and adventure.We take long Yomps (walks) “out of the urban into the wild”.We create an environment thatmentally and physically stimulates our companions, gives them boundaries and nurtures their confidence.


Howdoyourowndogs play a role within thecompany? So,my lead dog Chess (Chester) has been invaluable in the growth of Pack DogWalks. He’s a great role model and influence for others dogs, he’s calm, confident and bright. I’m training his replacement, for the time when it comes for Chess to retire, and that is inmy youngest dog Argento. Like Chester he’s a rescue and has showna willingness to please and undertake all tasks that I give him.


Whatdoestheaveragedayoutwith thedogslooklikeforyou? Theaveragedaywill consist ofme gettingsuitedandbooted, hoppingin to the van,BBC4orClassic FMon andthen to start thedogcollection (usually stoppingformultiple coffees at each one of the collections for the day).Havingdecidedwhere it is that wearegoingfor theday,we leave the vehicleandgo exploring.Thewalks themselves usually lastaroundthree hours. It usedtobe four hours (which wasafixedroute)butas I’vegot fitter, the route is nowcompletedmuch quicker.However, Iamknown to ring ownersandask if theymindalate dropoffaswe’ve headedalittle off pisteandare still exploring.


Making thetransitionfromRoyal MarinesCommandotoPackDog Walks is aninteresting journey.How does lifeinthepack comparetothe lifeof aRoyalMarine? Life in theMarines in comparisonwith thepack, surprisingly sharemany similarities. For example, the structure to thedayandhavingaset routinewhilstmaintainingtheability tobe flexibleare really important. Havingagoodlevel ofphysical fitness,beingable to leadthedogs with confidence throughall situations


thatwe encounterbe italoose aggressivedog,aheardof cows or really inquisitive horses, I needtobe able tomaintainacool headand negotiate those situations so thatwe can continue to exploreandenjoy the countryside inaresponsiblemanner. Thebondbetweenbrothers inarms andman’sbest friendI supposemust be thebiggest similarity though.A friendshipthat can’t reallybe describedordone justice inwords, afterallpackmeans family.


As an explorer andadventurermyself, I can completely getwhy someone undertakes an adventure like this and it’s a great story totell.The fact that Leigh is able todoall this as a living, is testament tothe hardwork and dedication that he hasput in tothis business. It’s incredibly nice tosee a former serviceman able touse some of their skills andknowledge tobuilda business that allows themtoenjoy what theydoandreapthe rewardsof their former life. If you’re interestedin yourdogbecomingpartof thepack contactwww.packdogwalks.co.ukor findthemon Facebookby searching PackDogWalksor call Leighdirectly on07780478192.


By LloydJGParsons THECHELTONIAN JUNE 2017 63


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